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Gore Vidal: ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’

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Posted on Apr 11, 2009

The whip-smart and ever-sly Gore Vidal visited “Real Time” on Friday, giving his historical and sometimes hysterically funny take on the state of the United States. He also revisited a few key moments from his personal history, illustrated by some priceless archival footage found by Bill Maher’s crack research team. Is it too soon to make an Amelia Earhart joke? It’s not too late to make one about Sarah Palin, apparently.


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Part 2:

Part 3:


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By mike turner, April 16, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Vidal is alas getting old….still he gots mo than 95% of all the twittering ones…..

Take on Israel…man Jesus even lost that one….

Israel used the 30 billion or so of USA taxpayer money it got(gets) EVERY year, to ship a million or so emigrees to the promised land with the promise of health care, food, lodging AND a monthly check .

American money made sure the CONSERVATIVE zionists would dominate Israeli politics until the endtime…. Obama, Vidal, who evah cant beat it! Like the USA economy…the damage is done. Optimism is delusion…..its time for realpolitik OTTO!

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By G.Anderson, April 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

That was great, thanks for posting this.

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By Ed Harges, April 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Are DWIGHTBAKER’s comments available in English?

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By truedigger3, April 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

I am really disappointed, no funny or substantive
discussion were there.
Gore Vidal is getting old and it is obvious he lost
his fire in the billy. I know we all gonna get old
including me so I don’t want any pontifications from anyone
Please don’t expect Bill Maher or anyone else
to attack Israel because that will be the end of
their careers in the media or show business.


Beat it. No one is reading your nonsense.  You are
wasting your time and truthdig’s storage space. Get lost.

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By tomack, April 13, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

That was cute: Vidal light.

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By KDelphi, April 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

So, I guess my main criticism was of Maher’s show as of late…lol

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By KDelphi, April 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

I agree—Vidal is great. (He was great recently at a Key West book fair—but he is sstill an elitist—possibly unavoidable, by his birth) But, Maher’s show has just become so lightweight, he just misuses people when he has great people on. If someone tries to make a point, and, the audience boos or something, he quickly switches the topic. or says, “this is supposed to be a comedy show”.

But, not when the issues are eating meat or dairy, any abuse of animals (not necessarily of persons—as he made a joke about the G-20 protestors, as the pic showed some of them bloody—one died), or religion (I largely agree with his views, although, I think he dismisses some of the facts of history—-being an atheist doesnt mean that you have to dismiss that there was something to these religions in history). He has a holier than thou attitude about his atheism,veganism, and, intelligence.

He loves Palin and Levi jokes, (so easy), and, in general, goes for the safe and easy these days

He had Ron Paul on, and, ignored all the things he disagreed with and eept trying to get him to “admit” he smoked pot—I find it really hard to believe that Paul smokes pot—I dont care (who does?) Maher is also sexist. He caters to his audience, which is not unusual. But, he used to be more independent.

I hear that he debated Ann Coulter, but I didnt see it…that might havbe been fun, but, Coulter is so far off base, its almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

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By Folktruther, April 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Gore Vidal is the best essayist in America inthe last half of the 20th century, with the single exception of James Baldwin, whose carreer he furthered at a crucial time. He even wrote some interesting novels, THE CREATION, being the best of those. 

It is true, as KDelphi says, that he is an Elitist, but he also made striking criticism of the National Security State, and proposed, to the National Press Club in the early 1990’s, to revise the Constitution via Article 5.  His initial novel, when he was 19, also helped legitimate homosexuality.

We are fortunate to have him on our planet.

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By diamond, April 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Now there’s a man and a brain that should both be listed as national treasures. Vidal’s wit and his silky dissection of conservative madness are a master class in how to analyse error and be incredibly funny at the same time. Above all, he is a very humane man. He is part of the other America, the one that would rather think first, negotiate first and resort to arms second or preferably never. Unlike George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Vidal actually fought in a war and, of course, it changed his life.

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By KDelphi, April 12, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Its too “late” for Palin jokes..shut up about her, already! People only like to talk about her to make themselves feel better—it may be soothing, but it doesnt make the so-called Left any better, just cause she’s a fricking redneck. But, I guess it does get the Dems votes..

I used to love Maher. NOw, he just plays to a neo-liberal audience. Vidal is a great intellect, (although a natural born elitist) but, he could have been used alot more substantively. Maher goes for the easy jokes now, and, get applause for anything with the name “Obama ” in it.

I dont know if anyone saw Maher last week with Mos Def—I was very disappointed AGAIN. Mos Def refused to talk about anything substantial about Pres Obama, and just kept saying “he just got the job”. True, but he is certainly headed in some direction, is he not? And you can at least comment as to whether you agree with it or not. Maybe it is too uncomfortable. Vidal , if pressed, or encouraged, cetainly would have. At one point, Maher, rather lamely, tried to say to Def “..b-b-but youre supporting the person , not the principle” and Def said, “No, I’m not” and Maher says, “Ok”. ???

Otherwise brilliant people just seem to be “so glad Bush is gone” that just being elegant and intelligent is enough.

I disagree with Christopher Hitchens on most things, but he is very intelligent. Well, lately hes not! Anyone see him on Maher? Gawd! All he does anyomre is drink! At least he’s open about it, but, his arguments have lost their entertaining, and, often infuriating, bite…

I see your comments now, Russian Paul, and others—lol. I agree!

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By Shift, April 12, 2009 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Maher is filled with himself and little else.

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By Ed Harges, April 12, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

re: By Russian Paul, April 11 at 9:41 pm:

Russian Paul writes: ... they could have had a much more substantive discussion. I’m starting to lose a lot of respect for Maher as he isn’t questioning Obama’s continuation of imperialist policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan as he should. And he continues to ignore the Palestinian/Israeli conflict …

Yes, Paul. Like so many otherwise “progressive” American Jews, Maher has a big blind spot on Israel, the Middle East, and Arabs and Muslims in general. This is why no matter which party is in power, our policies on Israel/Palestine change very little.

When I saw this item, I was at first impressed, knowing Vidal’s fearlessly scathing views on the US’s self-destructive subservience to Israel, as well as Maher’s demonstrated pro-Israel bias. I was prepared to grant Maher credit for giving Vidal a hearing. But if, as you say, Maher simply ignored the Chosen elephant in the room, then the choice of Vidal as a guest is much less impressive.

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By Russian Paul, April 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

I saw this interview and I was thinking how they could have had a much more substantive discussion. I’m starting to lose a lot of respect for Maher as he isn’t questioning Obama’s continuation of imperialist policies in Pakistan and Afghanistan as he should. And he continues to ignore the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, Vidal would have been a perfect guest to discuss these things with…

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